Wednesday 23 June 2021

Costa Rica Medical Tourism Facing Weak Economic Situation and Increased Competition

In addition to the negative image caused by cases of malpractice, business struggles with economic uncertainty and loss of competitiveness with respect to other countries

The economic uncertainty, the loss of competitiveness vis-à-vis other countries and incidents of malpractice challenge the growth of cosmetic surgeries in Costa Rica. Although in the cosmetic surgery business the Costa Rican market maintains its attractiveness for foreign clients, in other countries procedures of similar quality are offered, but at lower prices.

The most frequent cosmetic surgeries in Costa Rica are liposuctions, breast implants, tummy tucks, breast lift and reduction. To a lesser extent are facial rejuvenation surgeries such as ritidectomy (elimination of skin wrinkles) and blepharoplasty (rejuvenate the eyelids) says the Association of Doctors Specialists in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

This was assured to La Nación by the Asociación de Médicos Especialistas en Cirugía Plástica, Reconstructiva y Estética (Association of Specialists in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery), Clínica Unibe and the Cámara Costarricense de la Salud (Promed) – Costa Rican Chamber of Health.

- Advertisement -

“Costa Rica offers medical tourism at relatively competitive prices, especially service packages, as well as a range of doctors and specialists of great quality and experience. Our country still stands out, but it is becoming less competitive,” said Diego Solís Barrantes, general director of Clínica Unibe.

Massimo Manzi, executive director of Promed, believes that “… international competition and rising general costs will cause the business to stagnate, so the country must now target more premium segments and new markets like China.”

According to the Asociación, the surgeries most popular in Costa Rica are liposuction, breast implants, abdominoplasty, breast lift and breast reduction.

Initially, the economic uncertainty prevailing in Costa Rica causes a considerable portion of consumers to postpone the purchase of products or services that are not indispensable, including cosmetic surgeries.

- Advertisement -

Costa Rica economy is going through a period of deceleration that mainly affects the sale of goods and services by local companies, which barely increased 0.3% according to the data, as of June, of the Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica (IMAE) -Monthly Index of Economic Activity.

Mario Quesada, representative of the Asociación, explained that in recent years there was an upward trend in the number of procedures – although they do not have the exact figure – because more Costa Ricans showed interest in their health and appearance.

However, in 2019 the situation changed. “The trend has been down (…). Being a purely elective procedure, it makes it an unnecessary consumer product,” Quesada added.

Another factor against the cosmetic surgery business is that, although Costa Rica maintains its appeal to foreign patients, there are other countries that offer the same procedures with similar quality, but at lower prices, because their operating costs are more low.

Some of the main competitors include Mexico, India, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and the Dominican Republic, but Costa Rica’s main difficulty in competing with these markets is its high operating cost.“

At the Clinica Uribe, Barrantes explained that from 2014 to 2018 they performed approximately 2,000 cosmetic surgeries between national and foreign patients; that is, around 500 per year. Meanwhile, so far this year, they performed 200 such procedures.

- Advertisement -

A factor in “the list of inconveniences” is that in recent years there were cases of malpractice in the field of cosmetic surgery, which projects a negative image in international markets.

“Despite the negative news, patients are making sure to check if their surgeon is really who they say they are, they are comparing, they are putting aside the economic factor and are leaning towards safety,” Mario Alvarenga, a specialist in plastic surgery, told La Nacion.

The surgeries that Alvarenga performs most are lip-tagging with skin tightening, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and tummy tuck with lower back liposuction. These types of procedures can exceed US$3,500 (approximately ¢2 million at the current dollar exchange rate).

The average stay of a medical tourist in Costa Rica is currently from 10 to 15 nights, while the approximate cost is around US$5,000 to US$15,000, that can include surgery, surgeon’s fee, pre and post-op appointments, medications, transportation to/from the airport and to/from the surgery and primary doctor’s appointments, room, meals and nursing assistance.

 

 

 

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Costa Rica’s medical devices cluster is in excellent health, despite cold economy

The manufacturing cluster of medical devices in Costa Rica is enjoying...

Allergan Breast Implants Recalled By FDA Made in Costa Rica

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday (July 25,...

MOST READ

Will that be Cash or Sinpe Móvil?

QCOSTARICA - Sinpe Móvil is easy to use. From your phone, you can send money to friends, family and pay for things. Or receive...

Vaccination commission endorses J & J vaccine, says no to Sinovac

QCOSTARICA - The Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (CNVE)  - National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission - endorsed the use of Johnson and Johnson...

Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s feature debut, Clara Sola, ready for the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight

Q ENTERTAINMENT (CINEUROPA) Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s debut feature, Clara Sola, is ready to take part in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film...

New trends in coffee consumption challenge sector

QCOSTARICA - Changes in consumption habits in terms of times, types of preparation and specialties challenge the coffee sector. Most of the consumers in Costa...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 18: 9 & 0 CANNOT circulate

Today, Friday, June 18, vehicles with plates ending 9 & 0 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Today’s Covid News: Average daily deaths from Covid-19 begins to decline

QCOSTARICA - The week of June 13 to 19 registered a decrease in the average number of deaths due to Covid-19, when 20 daily...

Pandemic reinforces the Costa Rica’s attractiveness as a global destination for wellness tourism

QCOSTARICA - The pandemic caused by Covid-19 fuels the strategy of positioning Costa Rica as a world destination to develop wellness tourism, since travelers...

Germany opens borders to Ticos from this Friday!

QCOSTARICA - Good news for Ticos with traveling fever! From Friday, June 25, Germany will allow entry of travelers from Costa Rica as long...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 20: only “EVENS” can circulate

Today, Sunday, June 20, only vehicles with "EVEN" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.